American Football Database
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI Logo.svg.png
1 2 3 4 Total
STL 3 0 0 14 17
NE 0 14 3 3 20
Date February 3, 2002 (2002-02-03)
Stadium Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
MVP Tom Brady, Quarterback (New England)
Favorite Rams by 14
National anthem Mariah Carey
Coin toss George H. W. Bush and Roger Staubach
Referee Bernie Kukar
Halftime show U2
Attendance 72,922

Future Hall of Famers Patriots: none.
Rams: Marshall Faulk

TV in the United States
Network Fox
Announcers Pat Summerall and John Madden
Nielsen ratings 40.4
(est. 86.8 million viewers)[1]
Market share 61
Cost of 30-second commercial US$1.9 million
 < XXXV Super Bowl XXXVII > 

Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots (14–5) won their first Super Bowl by defeating the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams (16–3), 20–17, as kicker Adam Vinatieri made a game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Rams had been 14-point favorites to win the game, making the Patriots' victory one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.

Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown and marched his team down the field for the game winning score, was named Super Bowl MVP.

Due to the September 11 attacks and the NFL schedule being moved one week later, Super Bowl XXXVI was rescheduled from the original date of January 27 to February 3. On December 16, 2002, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated each subsequent Super Bowl a National Special Security Event (NSSE). By 2004, the league had restored the traditional pre-Super Bowl bye week that had been abolished prior to the 2001 NFL season, to reduce the possibility of the Super Bowl being unexpectedly delayed again (as it turned out, the league never intended to permanently abolish the bye week, only being removed for 2 seasons due to the NFL shifting the opening weekend to after Labor Day).


St. Louis Rams

After their Super Bowl-winning 1999 season, the Rams offense again dominated the league in 2000, leading the NFL in passing, scoring, and total yards. However, the Rams had one of the worst defenses in the league, ranking second to last in points allowed. This, along with injury problems and a coaching change (Super Bowl winning coach Dick Vermeil left the team and was replaced by Mike Martz), caused the team to slip to a 10–6 record in 2000. The season ended with a loss to the New Orleans Saints in the wild card round of the playoffs.

After signing several new defensive players in the offseason, and hiring new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, the Rams finished the 2001 season with the NFL's best regular season record at 14–2, and advanced to their second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons. In 2001, they led the league in both total offensive yards (6,930) and scoring (503). This was the Rams' third consecutive season with over 500 points, an NFL record. On defense, they only allowed 271 points, improving their 31st ranking from last season to 7th.

The Rams' 1999–2001 offense, nicknamed "The Greatest Show on Turf," is widely considered one of the best in NFL history. The team possessed an incredible amount of offensive talent at nearly every position. In 2001, quarterback Kurt Warner was awarded his second NFL Most Valuable Player Award after throwing for 4,830 yards and 36 touchdowns, with 22 interceptions, and earned a league high 101.4 passer rating. Wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce each amassed over 1,100 receiving yards, combining for 142 receptions, 2,469 yards, and 13 touchdowns. Wide receiver Ricky Proehl caught 40 passes for 563 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight end Ernie Conwell caught 38 passes for 431 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim caught 39 passes for 374 yards, and added another 333 yards returning punts.

Running back Marshall Faulk won NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award for the third year in a row. He rushed for 1,382 yards, caught 83 passes for 765 yards, scored 21 touchdowns, and became the first NFL player ever to gain more than 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards for 4 consecutive seasons. Running back Trung Canidate was also a major contributor, rushing for 441 yards, catching 17 passes for 154 yards, returning kickoffs for 748 yards, and scoring 6 touchdowns. Up front, their offensive line was led by guard Adam Timmerman and offensive tackle Orlando Pace, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third year in a row.

The Rams also had a solid defense, ranking third in the league in fewest yards allowed (4,733). The line was anchored by Pro Bowl defensive end Leonard Little, who led the team with 14.5 sacks and recovered a fumble, and defensive end Grant Wistrom, who recorded 9 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery. Behind them, the Rams linebacking core was led by London Fletcher, who had 4.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. St. Louis also had an outstanding secondary, led by Dre' Bly (6 interceptions, 150 return yards, and 2 touchdowns), Pro Bowler Aeneas Williams (4 interceptions, 69 return yards, 2 touchdowns), and Dexter McCleon (4 interceptions, 66 yards).

New England Patriots

The Patriots' chances for a Super Bowl appearance seemed bleak shortly after the season had begun. Before the season even started, quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein died of a heart attack. The Patriots, coached by Bill Belichick, lost their first two games. In the second loss, at home to the New York Jets, starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a sheared blood vessel on a hit by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis that would cause him to miss several weeks. His replacement was second-year quarterback Tom Brady, a sixth-round draft pick who had thrown only 3 passes in 2000. Also, during the fourth game of the year, wide receiver Terry Glenn, the team's leading receiver in 2000, was benched due to off-the-field problems.

Upon assuming the role of starting quarterback, Brady enjoyed immediate success in the regular season, leading New England to an 11–5 record. He completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,843 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Veteran Pro Bowl wide receiver Troy Brown was the main receiving threat, recording 101 receptions for 1,199 yards and 5 touchdowns, while also adding another 413 yards and 2 touchdowns returning punts. Wide receiver David Patten also was productive, catching 51 passes for 749 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Antowain Smith provided the team with a stable running game, rushing for 1,157 yards, catching 19 passes for 192 yards, and scoring 13 touchdowns.

New England was good on defense as well. Up front, linemen Bobby Hamilton (7 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), and rookie Richard Seymour excelled at pressuring quarterbacks and stuffing the run. Behind them, the Patriots had 3 outstanding linebackers: Mike Vrabel (2 interceptions, 3 sacks), Willie McGinest (5 sacks), and Tedy Bruschi (2 interceptions). The secondary also featured outstanding talent such as defensive back Otis Smith, who led the team with 5 interceptions for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cornerback Ty Law intercepted 3 passes, returning them for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns. Safety Lawyer Milloy had 2 interceptions during the season, and was selected along with Law to represent the New England defense in the Pro Bowl. The defense ended the season ranked 6th in scoring, but 24th in total defense.

During the 2001 regular season, the Patriots hosted the Rams in a nationally televised ESPN Sunday night game on November 18. Although the Patriots jumped out to an early lead, a critical turnover before the end of the first half that led to a Rams score proved costly. In the second half, the Rams wore New England down and won 24–17. The Rams lost four of their defensive players with injuries. The Patriots' physical play led Rams coach Mike Martz to say after the game that the Patriots were "a Super Bowl–caliber team."[2] After the loss, the Patriots dropped to 5–5, but would not lose again the rest of the season.

Coincidentally, this was the third straight time that the New England Patriots Super Bowl appearance was hosted in New Orleans. The Patriots did not appear in a Super Bowl hosted by another city until the team played in Super Bowl XXXVIII two years later in Houston, Texas.


The Rams began their postseason run with a 45–17 win over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. Expected to be a close shootout between Warner and Packers quarterback Brett Favre, the Rams defense dominated the Packers by intercepting a playoff record 6 passes from Favre and returning 3 of them for touchdowns. The Rams offense also racked up 24 points on 2 touchdown passes by Warner, a touchdown run by Faulk, and a field goal by Jeff Wilkins, helping St. Louis put the game away by the end of the third quarter.

One week later, the Rams advanced to the Super Bowl with a 29–24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game. Philadelphia managed to build a 17–13 halftime lead, but St. Louis scored 16 consecutive second half points (2 touchdown runs by Faulk and a Wilkins field goal) to earn the win. Warner finished the game with 22 of 33 pass completions for 212 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions, while Faulk rushed for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns.

In the AFC, the Patriots defeated the Oakland Raiders 16–13 in the final game at Foxboro Stadium played in a driving New England snowstorm. The signature moment of the game was a controversial ruling by referee Walt Coleman in the fourth quarter that would cause this game to commonly be known as the "tuck rule game". While the Patriots possessed the ball, trailing the Raiders 13–10 with under two minutes left in regulation and no time outs, Tom Brady was sacked by defensive back Charles Woodson, and appeared to fumble the ball. The fumble was recovered by Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert, presumably ending the game with a Raiders victory. After reviewing the play using instant replay, Coleman reversed the call on the field pursuant to the "tuck rule", where a ball is ruled an incomplete pass after the quarterback starts any forward motion. Brady then led his team to the Raiders 27-yard line, where kicker Adam Vinatieri made a 45-yard field goal which barely cleared the crossbar to send the game into overtime. The Patriots won the toss in overtime and would win on another Vinatieri field goal from 23 yards. Oakland's offense never regained possession.

In the AFC title game, the Patriots traveled to Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were coming off a 27–10 win over the previous season's Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. New England scored first with a 55-yard punt return touchdown by Troy Brown, but in the second quarter, Brady was knocked out of the game with a sprained ankle. He would be replaced by Drew Bledsoe in Bledsoe's first game action since being injured in September. Upon entering the game, Bledsoe quickly moved the Patriots down the field and threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to David Patten to give the Patriots a 14–3 halftime lead.

Early in the second half, the Steelers moved from their own 32 to the New England 16, where they lined up for a field goal by Kris Brown. However, Brandon Mitchell blocked the kick, Troy Brown picked up the ball at the 40 and ran 11 yards before lateraling to Antwan Harris, who took it 49 yards for a touchdown that made the score 21–3. But Pittsburgh scored two third quarter touchdowns to make the score 21–17. The Patriots ended the comeback attempt by scoring a field goal in the fourth quarter and intercepting 2 passes from Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart in the final 3 minutes of the game.

Effect of the September 11, 2001 attacks

Preparations for Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans were planned ever since the city was awarded the game during the NFL's October 1998 meetings. However, the September 11, 2001 attacks led the league to move both the playoffs and the Super Bowl back by one week. Rescheduling the game from January 27 to February 3 proved extraordinarily difficult. In addition to rescheduling the game itself, all related events and activities had to be accommodated. This marked the first time in NFL history that the Super Bowl was played in the month of February; however, all subsequent Super Bowls (excluding Super Bowl XXXVII) would be played in February.

Historically, the NFL made allowance for an open weekend between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl. However, there wasn't one scheduled for 2001, due to the NFL's decision beginning in the 1999 season to move the opening week of games to the weekend after Labor Day. Because the date of the Super Bowl had been set through 2003, the bye week before the Super Bowl would not return until 2004.

The NFL and New Orleans officials worked diligently to put together a deal to reschedule the game. The league considered a number of options, including shortening the regular season, shortening the playoffs, condensing the three playoff rounds in two weeks, and moving the game to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. It was eventually decided to make every effort to maintain a full regular season and playoff, and push the Super Bowl back to February 3.

One of the most significant logistical challenges was accommodating the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention, which was originally slated to occupy the Superdome on February 3. On October 3, 2001, the NFL announced its intentions to hold the game on February 3, even though no agreement was in hand with NADA. Several weeks later, the three parties reached an agreement, where the NADA would move its convention date to the original Super Bowl week in exchange for financial and other considerations, including promotional spots shown during selected regular season NFL games. This agreement permitted the NFL to move the game back to February 3, and allowed for a full standard playoff tournament.

Initially, the original logo for Super Bowl XXXVI had a style that reflected the host city. The original logo was distributed on some memorabilia items during 2001. However, after the 9/11 attacks, a new logo reflecting American pride was designed, featuring the shape of the 48 contiguous states (see the top of this article).


This was the last Super Bowl played on AstroTurf. From 2000 to 2005, NFL stadiums phased out AstroTurf in favor of natural grass or other surfaces that closely simulate grass, such as FieldTurf.

Prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, Superdome officials considered installing natural grass for the game. The proposed system was comparable to what had been used at the Silverdome during the 1994 World Cup, and at Giants Stadium from 2000–2002. Large trays of grass would be grown and cultivated outdoors, then brought inside the dome and placed on the field of play. In the end, cost and quality concerns prompted stadium and league officials to abandon the project.

Television and entertainment

The game was broadcast in the United States by Fox television, with the broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall and color commentator John Madden. Pam Oliver and Ron Pitts served as sideline reporters. This was Summerall's 26th and (to date) final Super Bowl broadcast on television or radio, as well as the eighth and final Super Bowl telecast (and final NFL telecast of any kind) for Summerall and Madden as a team; the two had been paired since 1981 (dating back to their days at CBS). Madden would move to ABC following Summerall's retirement, which would make him the first person to announce Super Bowls on different networks in consecutive years when he called Super Bowl XXXVII with Al Michaels.

James Brown hosted all the events with help from his then-fellow Fox NFL Sunday cast members Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Cris Collinsworth. Jillian Barberie served as the weather and entertainment reporter during the pre-game show.

Pregame ceremonies

Before the game, an ensemble of singers Barry Manilow, Yolanda Adams, James Ingram, Wynonna and Patti LaBelle performed Manilow's song "Let Freedom Ring."

In a video segment, past and present NFL players read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. Former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton appeared in another videotaped segment and recited some of the speeches by Abraham Lincoln. Because Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer's disease, his wife Nancy appeared on the segment instead.

Singers Mary J. Blige and Marc Anthony, along with the Boston Pops Orchestra, performed "America the Beautiful". Paul McCartney then sang his post-9/11 song "Freedom". Afterwards, singer Mariah Carey, accompanied by the Boston Pops Orchestra, performed the national anthem.

George H. W. Bush became the first president, past or present, to participate in a Super Bowl coin toss in person (Ronald Reagan participated in the Super Bowl XIX coin toss via satellite from the White House in 1985). Bush was joined by hall of fame and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, who played at the United States Naval Academy and was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI, played 30 years prior at New Orleans' Tulane Stadium.

Patriots entrance into the Superdome

As was customary at the time, the Rams' offensive starters were introduced first, as the Rams were considered the visitors. However, when it came time to introduce the Patriots' starters, Pat Summerall, making the public address announcement, revealed that the Patriots chose "to be introduced as a team." According to David Halberstam's book, The Education of a Coach, Belichick was given a choice by the NFL to introduce either the offense or defense. Belichick chose neither, asking that the team be introduced all at once in the spirit of unity. Although this was initially rejected by the NFL, Belichick held his ground and the NFL honored his request. This event set a precedent, and today both Super Bowl contestants are introduced as a team.

Halftime show

File:U2 Super Bowl.jpg

Names of 9/11 victims scroll during U2's performance

The halftime show featured a three-song set from Irish rockers U2, who had just completed their successful Elevation Tour. After a rendition of "Beautiful Day", the band launched into "MLK" and "Where the Streets Have No Name", both featuring two backdrops with the names of victims of the 9/11 attacks floating into the sky behind the band. While singing "Where the Streets Have No Name," Bono replaced the lyrics 'take shelter from the poison rain' to 'dance in the Louisiana rain' and 'high on a desert plain' with 'where there's no sorrow or pain'. At the conclusion of the song, Bono opened his jacket to reveal an American flag printed into the lining. In 2009, ranked it as the best halftime show in Super Bowl history,[3] and the second greatest by[4]


Memorable television commercials that aired during the game included Sony Pictures trailer for Spider-Man and Budweiser’s “Picking a Card.” ADBOWL ranked M&M’s “Chocolate on our Pillow” as the best commercial of the year.

Game summary

The Rams scored first midway through the first quarter, with Kurt Warner completing 6 of 7 passes for 43 yards on 48 yard, 10 play drive to set up a 50-yard field goal by kicker Jeff Wilkins. At the time, the field goal was the third longest in Super Bowl history. The rest of the quarter was scoreless.

Early in the second quarter, the Rams drove to New England's 34-yard line, but quarterback Kurt Warner threw an incompletion on third down, and Wilkins' subsequent 52-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.

With 8:49 left in the second quarter, New England defensive back Ty Law intercepted a pass intended for receiver Isaac Bruce and scored on a 47-yard return to give the Patriots a 7–3 lead. With less than two minutes left in the first half, Warner completed a pass to receiver Ricky Proehl at the Patriots 40-yard line, but New England defensive back Antwan Harris forced a fumble while tackling him, which was recovered by Patriots defensive back Terrell Buckley. New England quarterback Tom Brady started off the Patriots drive with a 16-yard completion to Troy Brown and finished it with an 8-yard touchdown pass to receiver David Patten with 31 seconds left in the half to give New England a 14–3 halftime lead. This was the first time in the 2001 season that St. Louis fell behind in a game by more than eight points.

The Patriots took the opening kickoff of the second half, but could only reach the St. Louis 43-yard line before being forced to punt. Aided by a 20-yard reception by wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim, a 22-yard reception by Bruce, and a defensive pass interference penalty on Patriots defensive back Otis Smith, the Rams advanced to the New England 41-yard line. However, on the next play, linebacker Mike Vrabel and defensive lineman Richard Seymour sacked Warner for a 9-yard loss. Warner then threw 2 consecutive incomplete passes, which resulted in the Rams punting.

Later in the third quarter, Otis Smith intercepted a pass intended for Rams wide receiver Torry Holt after Holt slipped while coming off the line of scrimmage, and returned the ball 30 yards to the Rams 33-yard line. Though St. Louis' defense did not give up a touchdown to the Patriots, kicker Adam Vinateri made a 37-yard field goal to increase New England's lead to 17–3.

The Rams responded by driving to the Patriots' 3-yard line on their ensuing drive. On fourth-and-goal, the Rams attempted to score a touchdown, calling for a quarterback sneak by Warner. Warner fumbled the ball while being tackled by linebacker Roman Phifer, which was recovered by defensive back Tebucky Jones who returned it 97 yards for a touchdown that would have increased the Patriots lead to 23–3. However, the play was nullified by a holding penalty on linebacker Willie McGinest, who illegally hugged Rams running back Marshall Faulk and prevented him from becoming an eligible receiver, which in turn gave the Rams a first down on the 1-yard line instead. On second down, Warner scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to make the score 17–10, Patriots.

After Warner's touchdown, the Rams defense forced the Patriots to a three-and-out. St. Louis then drove from their own 7-yard line to the New England 36-yard line, aided by a 30-yard reception by Proehl. However, McGinest sacked Warner for a 16-yard loss on second down, pushing the Rams back to their 46-yard line. St. Louis ended up punting after Warner's third down pass was incomplete.

The Rams forced New England to another three-and-out, and got the ball back on their own 45-yard line with 1:51 left in the game. Warner threw three consecutive completions: an 18-yard pass to Hakim, an 11-yard one to receiver Yo Murphy, and finally a 26-yard touchdown completion to Proehl that tied the game 17–17 with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter. Two years later, Ricky Proehl would do the same thing with the Carolina Panthers against the Patriots.

The Patriots had no timeouts left for their ensuing drive, which resulted in color commentator John Madden initially suggesting that the Patriots should run out the clock and attempt to win in overtime. Instead, New England attempted to get the winning score in regulation on the final drive. Brady opened the drive with three completions to running back J.R. Redmond, which moved the ball to their 41-yard line with 33 seconds left. After an incomplete pass, Brady completed a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Troy Brown, and followed it up with a 6-yard completion to tight end Jermaine Wiggins to advance to the Rams' 30-yard line. Brady then spiked the ball with seven seconds left, which set up Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal attempt. Vinatieri's game-winning kick was successful, marking the first time in Super Bowl history that a game was won by a score on the final play.

Box score

1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 3 0 0 14


Patriots 0 14 3 3


at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Date: February 3, 2002
  • Game time: 5:40 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Played indoors, domed stadium
Game information
1st Quarter
  • STL – FG: Jeff Wilkins 50 yards 3–0 STL 3:10. Drive: 10 plays,48 yards in 5:05

2nd Quarter

  • NE – TD: Ty Law 47 yard interception return (Adam Vinatieri kick) 7–3 NE 8:49
  • NE – TD: David Patten 8 yard pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick) 14–3 NE 0:31. Drive: 5 plays, 40 yards in 0:49

3rd Quarter

  • NE – FG: Adam Vinatieri 37 yards 17–3 NE 1:18. Drive: 5 plays, 14 yards in 2:07

4th Quarter

  • STL – TD: Kurt Warner 2 yard run (Jeff Wilkins kick) 17–10 NE 9:31. Drive:12 plays, 77 yards in 6:47
  • STL – TD: Ricky Proehl 26 yard pass from Kurt Warner (Jeff Wilkins kick) 17–17 tie 1:30 Drive: 3 plays, 55 yards in 0:21
  • NE – FG: Adam Vinatieri 48 yards 20–17 NE 0:00 Drive: 9 plays, 53 yards in 1:30

Final statistics


Warner finished the game with 28 completions out of 44 passes for 365 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, and rushed 3 times for 6 yards and a touchdown. Warner's 365 passing yards were the second highest total in Super Bowl history behind his own record of 414 yards set in Super Bowl XXXIV. Hakim was the top receiver of the game with 5 catches for 90 yards, and also rushed once for 5 yards. Faulk led the team with 76 rushing yards, and also caught 4 passes for 54 yards.

Patriots running back Antowain Smith was the top rusher of the game with 92 yards, and caught a pass for 4 yards. Troy Brown was the Patriots leading receiver with 6 catches for 89 yards. Brown also had a 15-yard kickoff return, and a 4-yard punt return, which gave him 108 total yards.

Although the Rams outgained the Patriots 427–267 in total yards, New England forced three turnovers that were converted into 17 points. The Patriots committed no turnovers.


  • Fox had a chance to a televise a game between these teams with this game, after their regular season meeting in Foxboro was aired on ESPN instead of Fox.
  • Kurt Warner's 365 passing yards were the second highest total in Super Bowl history behind his own record of 414 yards set in Super Bowl XXXIV.
  • This Super Bowl was the first since Super Bowl XXX not to have a rookie score in the game. Adam Vinatieri (Super Bowl XXXI), Ryan Longwell (Super Bowl XXXII), Tim Dwight (Super Bowl XXXIII), Torry Holt (Super Bowl XXXIV) and Jamal Lewis (Super Bowl XXXV) had scored in the previous five Super Bowls.
  • This was the New England Patriots' third straight Super Bowl played at the Louisiana Superdome and second straight Super Bowl as a 14 point underdog.
  • As of 2010, the Rams were the last NFC to team to be favored in the Super Bowl until the Green Bay Packers became the favorite against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
  • This game was the last Super Bowl played on antiquated AstroTurf. About a year before the game was held, stadium officials considered bringing in natural grass for the game. The system would use large trays of grass grown and cultivated outdoors, and brought inside to be placed on the field of play. Cost concerns, and the fact that it had never been done before, prompted stadium and league officials to abandon the project. During the 2003 season, the Superdome replaced its AstroTurf surface with FieldTurf, a surface that more closely simulates natural grass. The last two teams to play their home games on AstroTurf, the Rams and the Indianapolis Colts, switched to FieldTurf in 2005.
  • This is the only Super Bowl to date in which the lead changed on the last play of the game.
  • Although the Rams led the league during the regular season in red zone possessions, they did not enter the red zone until early in the fourth quarter, in a drive that ended with Warner's 2-yard touchdown run. This drive ended up being the only time in the game that the Rams ran any plays from scrimmage in the red zone.
  • The late author David Halberstam and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski both wrote about Bill Belichick's Super Bowl-winning defensive strategy against the Rams. In their 2001 regular season game, the Patriots had extensively blitzed Kurt Warner and had no effect on St. Louis' offensive rhythm. Belichick's plan for the Super Bowl keyed on Marshall Faulk as the center of the Rams' entire offensive structure, and involved New England avoiding blitzes, hitting Faulk on every play (including ones where he wasn't the play's primary option), and using a large number of nickel or dime secondary units. Both writers also noted that Coach Belichick was relying on Mike Martz refusing to turn to more running plays (which would, out of necessity, be favorable to St. Louis when New England had to focus so heavily on Warner and his receivers) out of pride in the record-setting aerial game he had constructed, and that Martz played into the Patriots' hands by trying to "win my way".
  • The Patriots became the eighth team to win the Super Bowl over a team possessing a better won-loss record going into the game (13–5 for the Patriots to 16–2 for the Rams).
  • Tom Brady had the third lowest passing yards total for a Super Bowl MVP quarterback with 145. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach has the lowest passing yards total with 119 yards with their Super Bowl VI win. Brady's was the first such award to include a contribution from fan voting. The following year's "Lindy's Pro Football Annual" reported had fan voting not been a contribution in the game, Patriots' cornerback Ty Law would have won the award.
  • Ever since the Patriots' now-famous "team introduction" in Super Bowl XXXVI, the NFL decided to forgo individual player introductions for the Super Bowl; every subsequent Super Bowl (except XXXVII) has had "team introductions" on both sides.
  • This was the commonwealth of Massachusetts' first major professional championship since the Boston Celtics' NBA title in 1986. The Patriots' win started the wave of success for Boston-based sports teams during the decade; the Patriots would win Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX in 2003 and 2004, respectively, MLB's Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007, the Celtics won the NBA championship in 2008, and the NHL's Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
  • The Patriots' win snapped an eight game Super Bowl losing streak for the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins in VIII had been the last team in this division to win the Super Bowl.
  • The Rams' 4th-quarter comeback of 14 points is the largest in Super Bowl history for a team to tie or take the lead in the 4th quarter. Also just the second time a team down 10 or more points in the 4th quarter had tied the game, the other being the Titans against the Rams two years earlier in Super Bowl XXXIV.
  • Fox would televise another championship in which a Boston area team beat a St. Louis area team only two years later – the 2004 World Series, which saw the Boston Red Sox break the Curse of the Bambino by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.

Statistical comparison

St. Louis Rams New England Patriots
First downs 26 15
Third down efficiency 5/13 2/11
Fourth down efficiency 0–0 0–0
Total yards 427 267
Passing yards 337 134
Passing – Completions-attempts 28–44 16–27
Rushing yards 90 133
Rushing attempts 22 15
Yards per rush 4.1 5.3
Penalties-yards 6–39 5–31
Sacks against 3–28 2–11
Turnovers 3 0
Fumbles-lost 2–1 0–0
Interceptions thrown 2 0
Time of possession 33:30 26:27

Individual leaders

Rams Passing
Kurt Warner 28/44 365 1 2
Rams Rushing
Cara Yds TD LGb
Marshall Faulk 17 76 0 15
Rams Receiving
Recc Yds TD LGb
Az-Zahir Hakim 5 90 0 29
Isaac Bruce 5 56 0 22
Torry Holt 5 49 0 18
Marshall Faulk 4 54 0 22
Patriots Passing
Tom Brady 16/27 145 1 0
Patriots Rushing
Cara Yds TD LGb
Antowain Smith 18 92 0 17
Patriots Receiving
Recc Yds TD LGb
Troy Brown 6 89 0 23
J. R. Redmond 3 24 0 11

*Completions/Attempts aCarries bLong play cReceptions

Starting lineups

St. Louis Position Position New England
Torry Holt WR Troy Brown
Orlando Pace LT Matt Light
Tom Nütten LG Mike Compton
Andy McCollum C Damien Woody
Adam Timmerman RG Joe Andruzzi
Rod Jones RT Greg Robinson-Randall
Ernie Conwell TE Jermaine Wiggins
Isaac Bruce WR David Patten
Kurt Warner QB Tom Brady
Marshall Faulk RB Antowain Smith
Jeff Robinson TE FB Marc Edwards
Chidi Ahanotu LE Bobby Hamilton
Brian Young LDT Brandon Mitchell
Jeff Zgonina RDT Richard Seymour
Grant Wistrom RE Anthony Pleasant
Don Davis LOLB Mike Vrabel
London Fletcher MLB Tedy Bruschi
Tommy Polley ROLB Roman Phifer
Aeneas Williams LCB Ty Law
Dexter McCleon RCB Otis Smith
Adam Archuleta SS Lawyer Milloy
Kim Herring FS Tebucky Jones


Notes and references